Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Victoria Room

The Victoria Room – 235 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Decadent, British-Raj styling
The Victoria Room is located on Victoria St in the trendy Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst. It is primarily a cocktail lounge, however morphs into a high tea paradise on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Finding the Victoria Room can be tricky, as it has no obvious signage and is located on the first floor. Once you locate the entrance and begin ascending the stairs, however, it becomes clear that The Victoria Room is the perfect place for a girly high tea. Decorated in a British-Raj style, the velvet-upholstered over-sized chairs, marble tables, wrought-iron screens, and colonial artwork all evoke a by-gone era of decadence. There are even hidden surprises: I spotted a globe on a side table, acting as a lamp, and a hula-hoop suspended from the ceiling. The Victoria Room is also extremely dark as there is only minimal lighting, so take care to let your eyes adjust when coming off the street on a sunny day.

Tea menu
I went to The Victoria Room on a Saturday afternoon to celebrate my good friend N’s birthday. Although this was not my first time at The Victoria Room I was nevertheless very excited to go; I had only ever experienced the pleasures of this location as a cocktail lounge. Once seated, we were presented with a tea menu. This naturally made me extremely happy. A large selection was on offer: there was the run-of-the mill English Breakfast (named English Breakfast Supreme), an interesting sounding Scottish Breakfast, several herbal infusions and even a tisane. In total, there were fourteen teas. I ordered a Rose Garden and was certainly not disappointed. The tea smelt flowery (as expected) and was surprisingly sweet: even my friends who sweeten their tea refrained from adding the sugar cubes supplied. It poured pink into my cup, and, when I opened the tea-pot, I saw that it contained actual baby rose buds. The tea did not become too strong even after sitting in my pot for an extended period of time. This indicates to me both the quality of the tea and the skill of the brewer. I would not be lying if I said I had found my new favourite tea.

Gorgeous tea cups
The only negative I experienced at The Victoria Room was the tea pot. The pot is a standard cafe-style porcelain pot which poured one-and-a-half to two cups. Given the location (and the cost) I would have liked something a bit more extravagant. Nevertheless, my disappointment at the tea pot was mostly mitigated by The Victoria Room's tea cups. Although my pot may have been bland, my cup was pure luxury: a beautiful white and purple bone china, decorated with gold leaf. The food supplied at the high tea was also delicious: there were sandwiches, scones, cupcakes, and biscuits, and even my friends who suffer from food allergies went home feeling satisfied.

High tea
Overall I had a fantastic experience at The Victoria Room. I found an amazing new tea and felt absolutely spoiled surrounded by good friends, good food, and good tea (even though it wasn’t even my birthday!) The staff were also extremely helpful and knowledgeable, helping my less tea-mad friends to select teas they might like. The only issue was when I asked who their tea supplier was as I was given conflicting information by my waitress and the hostess. Eventually I concluded that the supplier was Tea Leaves. The Victoria Room also has the tea they serve for sale at their front desk which is a great marketing opportunity. Although they had sold out of Rose Garden I purchased their Lemongrass and Ginger Tea, enticingly named ‘One Night in Bangkok’. I am excited to return to the Victoria Room, hopefully in the near future.
  
SNAPSHOT REVIEW:
Tea: 9/10
The selection was quite large, although not huge. Full marks are given for introducing me to one of my new favourite teas and for using a lesser-known supplier.

Tea Pot: 6/10
Somewhat average pot. Extra point was given for the lovely tea cups

Service, Ambience, etc: 8/10
The food was delicious and the atmosphere was decadent. The staff were also extremely attentive. Negatives are the cost (although made up for by the luxurious experience), the lighting (dark at first but then lovely once your eyes adjust), and the confusion over the tea supplier.

OVERALL SCORE:
23/30

MissTea xoxo

Find them:
The Victoria Room

High Tea is served:
Sat & Sun: 12pm - 5pm


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The Victoria Room on Urbanspoon

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